It’s the final game before the summer break, and a North-West Derby to boot, as Sligo Rovers host Finn Harps at the Showgrounds in what should be a real cracker.
It will be a first taste of the Derby for Sligo’s Gerard Lyttle, and it’s a game neither side can really afford to lose.
It’s so tight at the lower end of the table that every point is so vital, but a win for either team would be a massive boost going into the second half of the season.
Finn Harps boss Ollie Horgan, who incidentally is banned from the dug-out for tonight’s game, knows how important tonight’s game is, “We have to get more points on the board quickly and that starts tonight at the Showgrounds.”
“We have a lot of ground to make up after losing five games in a row. The wins over Pat’s and Limerick has given us a boost, but we’re coming from a low base so we have to battle for every point to give us a chance of survival.”
“On their day Sligo could destroy us. They have Kieran Sadlier, who I rate in the top three players in the league, along with Seanie Maguire and Patrick McEleney. So if we get a draw at the Showgrounds it will be a brilliant result for us considering the injury problems we still have.”
“We’ll be missing Danny Morrissey (through suspension) which is a pity because he has been in great scoring form in the last two games for us. So there will be at least one change for tomorrow night’s game. Barry Molloy, Paddy McCourt and Caolan McAleer are all very doubtful. We’ll just have to wait and see tomorrow what kind of the shape they are in and then decide” Horgan said.
“Sligo had a 3-0 win over Limerick in their last home match so that shows you what they are capable of doing. It’s going to be ‘backs to the wall’s stuff’ for us for a lot of the game depending on what kind of a team we can put out at the Showgrounds.”
Sligo’s Gerard Lyttle told sligorovers.com “Things are looking up, I’m happy with how the boys are playing, their dedication towards everything and they want to be winning games now and moving up the table.”
“I want us to get leads and hold on to them instead of going behind. It’s a work in progress and we have worked on lots of things in the last few weeks. The boys have upped their tempo in training, their workload in training and now we’re working on a mentality of winning games rather than drawing.”
Lyttle also spoke about potential signings, “We’re on the ball at the minute with targets and players we’re looking at. I just don’t want to jump in and bring players here for the sake of bringing players in. It has to the right fit, the right blend that we’re able to work with. They have to have the same philosophy that we play with. But I can assure you there will be fresh faces coming in.”
“It’s going to be hard. It’s a tough time to bring players in. Mid-July, if you’re looking to bring in players from across the sea, they’ve been out for two or three months from football. It’s hard bringing them players in and then having a pre-season. We’re looking at players that can come in and be ready, go straight in.”
“But every club is going to be the same. It’s a small pool we’re trying to pick from. We’ve good contacts in England, Scotland and obviously in the north and the south. We’ll keep working away and get the right blend of players in.”
Lyttle was full of praise for his counterpart Ollie Horgan at Finn Harps saying, “Ollie is a great guy, a great manager, I have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great personality and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s doing an unbelievable job at Finn Harps with resources and being a part-time team. I have a lot of respect for him and his team.”
“We’ll not be thinking for one minute that this will be an easy game for us. They have won their last two games. We know what they are about. They are agressive, they have good individual players and a good team spirit. The big thing for me is focussing on Sligo Rovers rather than Finn Harps.”
“We’re at home , we have a good record here. What we’re trying is making this place a fortress and making it hard to come and get points. We want to show that Friday.”